Posts Tagged ‘baking’

Cakes & Bakes: Rhubarb, apple & cardamom crumble

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

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Home-made rhubarb apple & cardamom crumble | H is for Home

In a recent post, we mentioned that Justin wasn’t a massive fan of fruit crumble – there was utter disbelief amongst some of our readers! We’ve talked through it over recent weeks – it’s good to get things out in the open. To be precise, he doesn’t like a soggy zone between the fruit & browned topping. The merest hint of uncooked, wet flour and there’s real distress.

Rhubarb apple cardamom crumble ingredients

Now we’ve identified the true cause of his phobia, we’ve been able to work through it together (with the help of a crumble counsellor) and have experimented with different methods. We don’t add any water to the fruit or pre-cook it any more – and top with thinner layers of crumble mix to produce crispy, crunchy perfection. There’s no stopping him now – strawberry, pear, plum – bring it on!

Cardamom pods

So, for this week’s Cakes & Bakes we’ve got a crumble – rhubarb, apple & cardamom crumble.

Sugared crumble fruit

The cardamom adds a distinctive and really interesting twist…

Crumble ingredients

…and chopped almonds in the topping also worked well.

Uncooked rhubarb apple & cardamom crumble | H is for Home

So, the only decision left to make – custard, cream or ice cream. It was a custard kind of day for us!!

Bowl of rhubarb apple & cardamom crumble with custard | H is for Home

  Second helpings for Justin – we really have moved forward from those dark, crumble-free years!

Pin the recipe for later!

Rhubarb, apple & cardamom crumble
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 2 large stalks of rhubarb
  2. 1 Bramley apple
  3. 50g/1¾oz demerara sugar
  4. 3 cardamom pods
  5. 100g/3½oz plain flour
  6. 25g/1oz rolled oats
  7. 10g/⅓oz almonds, roughly chopped
  8. 75/2½oz cold butter, cubed
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas mark 6
  2. Remove the cardamom seeds from their husks and grind finely with a pestle & mortar
  3. Slice the rhubarb into 2½cm/1inch slices
  4. Peel, core & chop the apple into 1cm/⅓ cubes
  5. Put the rhubarb, apple, half the ground cardamom and 2tbs of the sugar into a medium-sized bowl and mix until the sugar coats the fruit evenly
  6. Decant the mixture into a 30cm x 15cm oven-proof dish
  7. In a medium-sized bowl, add the flour, oats, sugar, chopped almonds, butter and remainder of the cardamom. Rub in the ingredients with your fingers until they resemble coarse, lumpy breadcrumbs
  8. Cover the sugared fruit evenly with the crumble mixture
  9. Cook for 20-30 minutes until the top has begun to brown and fruity syrup is bubbling up
  10. Allow to cool slightly and serve with custard or vanilla ice cream
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Italian cheesecake with almond crumb base

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

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Slice of home-made Italian cheesecake with almond crumb base | H is for Home

Lidl had a ‘Taste of Italy‘ special this week so I stocked up on a few Mediterranean bits & bobs when I popped in. I bought a couple of tubs of ricotta, not quite knowing what I was going to do with them. Of course… Italian Cheesecake!

Italian cheesecake ingredients

Ground almonds, sugar and butter in a saucepan

I fancied making it with a crunchy base using amaretti biscuits but I couldn’t find any in the shops. No need to panic, I improvised and made my own almond crumb base.

Almond crumb cheesecake base

ricotta and sugar mixture

I’ve made a fair few different cheesecakes in the past. I think this is almost up there with the all-time favourite Gordon Ramsey version.

making Italian cheesecake mixture

uncooked Italian cheesecake

It’s best served cold, straight from the fridge, perhaps with an after-dinner espresso.

Italian cheesecake straight from the oven

Home-made Italian cheesecake

Fancy giving it a try? Pin the recipe for later!

Cakes & Bakes: Italian Cheesecake with almond crumb base
Yields 6
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Cook Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr
For the base
  1. 40g/1½oz butter
  2. 150g/5oz ground almonds
  3. 30g/1oz caster sugar
  4. pinch of salt
For the cake
  1. 500g/1lb 2oz ricotta cheese
  2. 150g/5oz caster sugar
  3. 3 eggs
  4. 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  5. juice from ½ lemon
  6. 25g/1oz plain flour
  7. 15g/½oz flaked almonds, toasted (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 150ºC/300ºF
  2. Grease an 18cm/7-inch loose-bottomed cake tin
  3. In a medium saucepan, add the butter and put over a low heat until melted
  4. Remove from the heat add the almonds and sugar and combine well
  5. Tip the mix out into the cake tin and press uniformly into the base using the back of a spoon
  6. Bake the base for 10 minutes, set aside and allow to cool
  7. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ricotta and caster sugar until smooth
  8. Gently beat the eggs in a measuring jug before adding gradually to the cheese & sugar mix. Stir well after each addition
  9. Mix in the vanilla extract and then the lemon juice
  10. Sift the flour into the mix and combine well
  11. Pour the mixture on to the almond crumb base and bake for a hour
  12. After the hour, turn the oven off and leave the door ajar allowing the cake to cool in the oven
  13. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the toasted flaked almonds over the top
  14. Allow to cool in the tin completely before removing
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Sweet potato muffins

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

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Home-made sweet potato muffins with crunchy top | H is for Home

Often when we visit Justin’s parents, we’re waved off with a food parcel. It usually consists of chocolate, biscuits and fruit & veg.

Sweet potato muffins ingredients

Sometimes they’re items that were part of multi-buy offers which would be too much for them to consume before going off.

Cooked sweet potatoes

Last week, said goody bag included half a dozen sweet potatoes. Strange, we know. We didn’t have them down as sweet potato fans; we don’t buy them too often ourselves either.

Toasted flaked almonds

I’ve used some of them this week to make a batch of sweet potato muffins. I’d never tried making them before and I didn’t know what to expect.

Sweet potato muffins wet ingredients

I thought they’d be  quite heavy and filling, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Sweet potato muffins dry ingredients

The addition of both baking powder and bicarbonate of soda meant they were light and airy.

Sweet potato muffin batter in cases

A little sprinkling of demerara sugar just before they went into the oven gave them a nice, crunchy top.

Sugar sprinkled sweet potato muffin batter

Just the right size for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up with a brew!

Sugar sprinkled sweet potato muffins

Now, what to do with the rest of the bag of sweet potatoes… any suggestions?

If you’d like to save this recipe for later, you can pin it from here.

Sweet potato muffins
Yields 12
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Cook Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
  2. 200g/7oz flaked almonds
  3. 200g/7oz caster sugar
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 120ml/4 fl oz vegetable oil
  6. 80ml/3 fl oz water
  7. 200g/7oz plain flour
  8. 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  9. ½tsp baking powder
  10. 1tsp ground cinnamon
  11. ½tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/ºF/Gas mark 4
  2. Grease a 12-hole muffin tray or two 6-hole muffin tins or line with paper muffin cases
  3. Bake the sweet potatoes, skin on, for about 20 minutes until soft and cooked. Allow to cool before scraping the flesh out of the skins and mashing until all the lumps are removed
  4. Toast the flaked almonds, shaking a couple of times to get a uniform colour. This takes 5-8 minutes
  5. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, oil and water until the sugar has dissolved
  6. Add the cooled, puréed sweet potato
  7. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, bicarb, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Make a well in the centre
  8. Pour the wet ingredients into the well of the dry and combine well
  9. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins, sprinkle a little demerara sugar on top of each and put in the oven
  10. Bake for 20 minutes before allowing to cool on a wire rack
  11. They can be eaten warm or cold and can be stored in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 5 days
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/